Good news as second-stringers move up the rankings


PETALING JAYA: Men’s singles shuttler Leong Jun Hao and doubles pair Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun are moving up the rankings after some impressive showings – and that’s a positive sign for Malaysian badminton.

Jun Hao moved up to a career high No. 28 in the latest rankings after reaching back-to-back quarter-finals in the Singapore Open and Indonesian Open.

The 24-year-old took down several big names like Indonesia’s top two Jonatan Christie (No. 3) and Anthony Ginting (No. 9) and Taiwan’s Chou Tien-chen (No. 13) in his debut in the World Tour Super 750 and 1000 events.

Jun Hao was rewarded for his brilliant performances as he finally broke into the world’s top 32 after trying for more than a year.

The 2017 Asian Junior champion’s progress is timely as world No. 18 Ng Tze Yong is still sidelined with a back injury.

Meanwhile, Wei Chong-Kai Wun also reached a career best No. 15 in the rankings after finishing as runners-up in the Indonesian Open.

The pair have struggled with fitness issues and inconsistency in the past but made it to their first ever Super 1000 final at the Indonesian Open before losing to China’s world No. 2 Liang Weikeng-Wang Chang.

Wei Chong-Kai Wun are now just two rungs below teammates Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani, who are ranked 13th.

Malaysia also have world No. 5 Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, who are set to make their second appearance in the Olympics in Paris next month, world No. 18 independent pair Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi and rising youngsters Choong Hon Jian-Mohd Haikal Nazri (No. 26) and Yap Roy King-Wan Arif Wan Junaidi (No. 37) in the world’s top 40.

Kai Wun believes the healthy competition between the pairs will push them to greater heights.

“It’s good for Malaysia that many pairs are coming up. We can see our standards are getting higher,” he said.

Wei Chong-Kai Wun and Jun Hao will next compete in the Japan Open in August.

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